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Hendrick Dominates Martinsville

Hendrick Motorsports has been as dominant as a race team can be. This past weekend, William Byron won at Martinsville Speedway for the team’s 27th career win at the paperclip. Chase Elliott won the first two stages, and by leading the first 18 laps, he led the 10,000th career lap at Martinsville as an organization. Those numbers are video game-type stuff. 

I want to dive into the lesser talked about stats that make Hendrick Motorsports the GOAT of racing. There is currently no team in NASCAR that has produced four different Cup Series championships winners, other than HMS, which has five. Hendrick earned their 14th NASCAR Cup Series title last season with Kyle Larson. To compare, Petty Enterprises has 10 Cup Series Championships, with their first race coming in 1949. Hendrick Motorsports has 14 Championships since their first race in 1984. That’s 14 titles in 38 years versus Petty’s ten titles in 73 years. 

Let’s compare wins now. HMS has 284 career Cup Series wins. The next closest on the list is Petty Enterprises, with 268. And again, the same time frame applies. This next stat won’t show up for a while, but the list of Hall of Famers will favor HMS greatly over any other team. There are currently seven inducted drivers in the Hall that drove for HMS at one point, with more to come. Jimmie Johnson and Kyle will join that list at some point. The other team that should get close is Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing, who share Mark Martin on that list but had several Hall-worthy drivers on their team. Joe Gibbs Racing will also be a significant factor on that list. 

Hendrick Motorsports’ excellence can be described in many ways, but the one stat that will always show me their greatness is the prolonged success over such a short time frame. NASCAR had to change the way drivers win Championships to prevent Jimmie Johnson from winning more than five in a row. That speaks to the level of success that HMS has had more than anything else to me. 

And to revisit the Martinsville stats, 10,000 laps lead at one track is an insane milestone. HMS should purchase Martinsville and Charlotte Speedways. No team has had more success at either one. There is an excellent chance of another Championship this season, with four young drivers showing great speed and skill this season. This season, Chase Elliott is the only HMS driver without a win, but I can see him getting a win or two in the next month. 

Chris Ausburn